The transition of the TOP 14 final concept into a global show

Thomas Otton and Guillaume Gouze – respectively Communication Director and Head of Stadium Department at Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) – highlighted the opportunities offered by a post-match concert after the TOP 14 final to attract more fans during the ESSMA Summit in Porto.

From a sporting event to a full experience

The final of the TOP 14, taking place at Stade de France, underwent a thorough modernisation three years ago. Paris is characterised by a lot of competition regarding leisure activities and therefore the TOP 14 final needed an upgrade to distinguish itself from other entertainment events. 

LNR transformed the final from a standard sports event into a global show to offer the attendees a full experience. The organisation elaborated a comprehensive programme with an opening youth match, several pre-match activities and the TOP 14 final. In addition, adding a performance of an international pop star proved to be critical to optimise the fan experience. 

Targeting a different audience

One of LNR’s main objectives was luring a new audience to rugby. LNR picked Mika, an entertainer who is incongruent with the music preferences of the current rugby fans. Consequently – with Mika who has a young and more feminine fanbase – LNR can attract new audiences to rugby and communicate other significant values inherent to rugby such as CSR, culture and entertainment to strengthen its brand image. Moreover, Mika served as an influencer in order that a whole new community could get to know rugby better. 

As the figures show, transforming the final of the TOP 14 into a global experience has been a great success. Between 60 % and 70 % of the TV viewers kept watching post-match for Mika’s concert. According to a post-event survey, fans enjoyed the overall picture whereas first-time viewers were excited about Mika’s performance. Media coverage along with activity on social media grow by 414% compared to 2017.

In addition to enriching the fan experience by combining rugby and entertainment and bringing a new target audience to rugby, LNR’s third objective was to grow the overall brand image of the TOP 14 competition.

 What we can learn from their presentation:

  • Transforming a sports event into a full experience helps you enlarge your target audience
  • In order to work towards a common goal, cross service coordination and transversal working are essential
  • Objectify the selection of the chosen artist
  • Consider the show equally important as the sporting event
  • Confirming your artist as soon as possible, will allow you to facilitate the organisation of the show and improve the involvement of the artist’s fan base

Interview with Thomas Otton: